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Teamsters Endorse Safe Banking Act

Bill would provide legal protection for banks that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal.

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The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which today got a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has been endorsed by the Teamsters. The 1.2 million strong union says the legislation will protect workers and improve public safety by allowing legal cannabis businesses access to banking services.

The bill, reintroduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., has bipartisan support and aims to provide legal protection for banks that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal.

“There are thousands of people working at cannabis proprietors in 38 states, including many who are our members,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien in a statement. “These workers deserve a safe workplace that provides meaningful wages, health care, and access to retirement security.”

Without access to traditional banking services, the Union says, legal cannabis businesses are forced to operate almost entirely in cash. “This puts workers at risk of robbery and violence, enables wage theft, and makes it harder for public officials to enforce state and local regulations,” the union added.

The SAFE Act has–so far–failed seven times in getting out of the Senate, after passing each time in the House of Representatives.

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